Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office

Second Person Charged in Veteran's Shooting Death in Sylmar

Police say the shooting had "nothing to do with his military service"

A second alleged gang member has been charged with murder in the shooting death of a U.S. Army veteran in Sylmar earlier this month, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said Tuesday.

Jerry Raymond Carmona, 26, pleaded not guilty Monday to one count each of murder and attempted murder.

Co-defendant Vincent Anthony Estrada, 18, faces the same charges, along with a count of discharge of a firearm with gross negligence. The criminal complaint also alleges that the crimes were committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang.

The two are charged in the Nov. 9 shooting death of former soldier Francisco Garcia, 21, who was shot while with a group of people near Sylmar High School, according to Deputy District Attorney Tom Trainor.

Garcia's shooting had "nothing to do with his military service," LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon said. "There was a long-simmering dispute between rival tagger groups or within the same group."

The Los Angeles Police Department and the soldier's friends initially said Garcia served in Afghanistan, but a U.S. Army spokesperson told NBC4 his only assignment after basic training was at a fort in New York, and he was never deployed overseas by the time he was disharged in July. It was not clear what caused Garcia's departure from the Army.

Suspects Carmona and Estrada are due back in court Dec. 18. Bail for both men was set at more than $2 million.

If convicted as charged, the two each face a maximum sentence of life in prison, according to the DA.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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